63-year-old Graeme runs 10km to take a fun win
IT WAS only six years ago that Graeme Pollard took to the track and gave running a go.
So it was an impressive feat when the 63-year-old Goonellabah local managed to take out first place in the Alstonville/Wollongbar fun run on Saturday in the 10km over 55 category.
The gold medal winner is a stark contrast to the Graeme Pollard of past, who was a self-confessed "workaholic" who rarely exercised.
"When I retired I had time to do a bit of exercise," he said.
"I certainly am much more relaxed, much more tolerable, more confident about my health.
"You're literally doing something that's caring for your health rather than absorbed in things that are otherwise destructive."
Mr Pollard said it was extremely important for people of all ages to remain active and healthy.
"I think people are their own worst enemies because there's all this talk about you shouldn't be doing it because it will hurt your knees or put your heart at risk," he said.
"But if they're wise and build up to it, they'll be surprised what they can achieve."
It's a mindset that seems to be growing.
This year's Alstonville Wollongbar fun run had 593 entries.
Fun run organiser Catherine Black said it was a record number of people.
"That's more than we've ever had," she said. "It was a really, really great day."
"We had hundreds of prizes donated from local business in Alstonville and Wollongbar so it was great to see that business support."
She said entrants ranged from two to 87-years-old.
Tony Curtis from Lismore took out first place in the 5km open category and placed second in the 10km event.
The 40-year-old former triathlete said the motivation to get up at 3am and go for a run had never been a problem.
"I suppose I'm over-motivated, I just absolutely love it," he said.
"Love being healthy enough and fit enough to get out there and do it. I like still giving the young bucks a run for their money."
All the money raised through the fun run will go to the Wollongbar Public and Alstonville High Schools P&C Associations